A patient who is recovering from abdominal surgery has developed an infection in his surgical wound. When the nurse assesses the surgical site, she notices that the edges of the wound have come apart and many of the sutures are not intact. What interventions are most appropriate in this situation? Select all that apply.


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- Immediately apply a sterile dressing over the site

- Contact the physician about the condition

- Clip the non-intact sutures

- Cover the wound with gauze until it is managed

- Use a cotton-tipped applicator to gently probe the wound


The patient described is suffering from wound dehiscence, which occurs when the edges of the wound come apart. Wound dehiscence can be minor or it can be severe enough that it requires surgical intervention to fix. In this case, the nurse should cover the wound with gauze and contact the physician to manage the wound.

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